"With great power there must also come great responsibility," Stan Lee famously wrote, and though he was referring to superpowers brought on by a mutant spider bite, it holds true for other powers, as well. That's why celebrities are calling out Ivanka Trump on Instagram yet again, because they may not be web slingers, but they do have the ear of the favorite child and unpaid advisor to President Donald Trump, arguably the most powerful man in the world... Which I guess would make her the most powerful woman in the world, which is something I don't really want to dwell on because it's making me feel a little sick.
The "Dear Ivanka" campaign began just days after the 2016, and though it's evolved a bit since then, the central conceit has always been the same. In general, Trump doesn't listen to anyone, preferring instead to surround himself with yes-men and steadfastly holding on to his own false narratives. But the one advisor who might actually be allowed to, ya know, advise him is his daughter, Ivanka. We know from his repeatedly creepy comments that he's, uh, a great admirer of his eldest daughter, and as Republican strategist Liz Mair told the Guardian last year, "She's the only person that I believe Donald Trump consistently listens to."
In late November 2016, an account called @dear_ivanka popped up on Instagram, posting glamour shots of the first daughter with dire captions such as "I'm afraid of the swastikas spray painted on my park," "I'm an American Muslim and I was attacked on the subway," and "I'm afraid for all my friends who aren't white men." The group behind the account, Halt Action Group, led a candlelight vigil in SoHo on behalf of the New York art scene to appeal to Ivanka — who was once one of their own — to urge her father to change his ways, according to the New Yorker. The group later solicited postcards addressed to Ivanka for another protest.
A year later, the phrase resurfaced on Instagram, now spearheaded by another social circle Ivanka is more or less a part of: famous people. Celebs who counted Ivanka among their followers began posting messages asking her to convince Trump to pass a clean DREAM Act for immigrant children before the end of the year, according to Glamour. Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, model Cara Delevingne, actor Olivia Wilde, comedian Amy Schumer, and many more posted the following message:
Dear Ivanka, I see you're following me on Instagram. This Thanksgiving I would be grateful if you use the influence you have to advocate for a CLEAN Dream Act by December. Every day that passes without a clean Dream Act means anxiety and deportation for immigrant youth. 7,901 youth have already lost DACA and 122 more will use it each day. Thank you and Happy Holidays.
Hoping she hasn't unfollowed them as a result, celebrities once again took to Instagram this week to advocate for immigrant kids.
"Dear Ivanka," the new post begins, "You follow me on social media." This one gets a little more personal, and a lot more passionate, though.
You said family separation was a "low point" for you. The low point is for the separated families. You spoke in past tense. This crisis is ongoing.
As of now, 572 children have not been reunited. A child has died after separation. Approximately 400 parents have been deported without their children. There have been multiple claims of sexual and physical abuse in detention. There have been psychotropic drugs administered to children in detention without parental consent.
These abuses have occurred on your father's watch and under the leadership of Secretary Nielsen. End these racist, inhuman and unconscionable abuses now!
We demand you call for the resignation of Secretary Nielsen!
So will it work? Well, nine months after the last campaign, the Trump administration is still locked in a court battle over its efforts to end DACA, and everyone but white men is still looking over their shoulder all the time so... Third time's a charm, I hope.